England deserves better

With the elevation of Paul Nuttall to the leadership of UKIP, we must accept that the prospects for a progressive civic nationalist movement in England have receded into the mists of political wishful thinking. It may well be a lost cause, at least for the foreseeable future. Normal service will not be resumed any time soon.

Of course, UKIP was never likely to be the vehicle for that progressive English nationalism. On the contrary, it is probably the single greatest impediment to the evolution of a movement that approximately mirrors in England what the SNP represents in Scotland. Namely, a positive, inclusive, outward-looking nationalism that is principally concerned with effective democracy and good governance. A modern form of nationalism that values community membership over ethnicity and concerns itself with jurisdictional appropriateness rather than territorial integrity. An aspirational nationalism characterised more by principled pragmatism than by ideological dogma. None of which describes UKIP.

Aided by sensation-craving media, which have long afforded Farage’s colourful troupe of clowns a prominence out of all proportion to their political and electoral significance, UKIP has effectively occupied the space in which a more rationally reformist challenge to the corrupt and dysfunctional British state might have developed.

The fertile soil of dissatisfaction and discontent from which a progressive civic nationalist movement might have emerged has been salted by the toxic rhetoric of fear and hate.

The anger and resentment born of decades of economically destructive and socially corrosive mismanagement, which might have been harnessed to bring about meaningful change, has instead been directed against facile stereotypes and easy scapegoats.

I take no satisfaction whatever from the realisation that Nuttall’s appointment signals an acceleration of the divergence between political cultures north and south of the border, and a hastening of the day this divergence becomes so great as to remove any possible doubt about the need to dissolve the political union between England and Scotland.

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9 thoughts on “England deserves better

  1. bringiton

    The sad aspect of English politics is that the party which is supposed to represent progressive social ideas has had to adopt right of centre orthodoxy in order to get elected to government.
    However,in England,that is a very crowded space and they are having to compete with all the other London based parties for that vote,each vying to outukip the others.
    That is where England is going and by default the UK.
    Time for some No voting Scots to make their mind up.

    1. Peter A Bell Post author

      There’s a very real sense that things are spiralling out of control in England. Relatively speaking, Scotland is an oasis of political calm and good sense.

  2. Clydebuilt

    O/t (appologies)….. BBC’s Phil Goodlad pushing a FIFA PRO survey of world footballers, that finds Scotland’s footballers have received more threats of violence from supporters than any other country……. However, England and Old Firm players did not take part…….. Find this very hard to believe……

    1. Me Bungo Pony

      Its basically rubbish.

      Maybe footballers in other countries have a different view on what they consider “threats of violence”. Maybe they only count ones they consider serious while Scots players are commenting on each and every bit of nonsense shouted from the stands. Maybe each Scots player has been “shouted at” once in 300 games while their foreign counterparts have received far more abuse in fewer games from a more vocifereous (if more selective) fan base.

      Also, if the Old Firm have avoided the survey, maybe the “provincial” club players have been threatened by Old Firm fans while their own fans are almost completely blameless.

      Basically, its a stark figure that may or may not be significant. If we don’t know the detail it is a useless statistic.

    1. Me Bungo Pony

      I heard it on the BBC this morning. Maybe they’ve decided that’s enough. Don’t want the Nats getting too much good publicity you know. That would be far too balanced.

      1. Clydebuilt

        MBP…… Re the footy…..Aye the BBC work hard to build up a moaning culture in Scotland…… Call Kaye isn’t known as ….The Morning Moanin for nothing!

  3. Andy McKirdy

    Back on topic, England doesn’t deserve better. UKIP represents that little Englander mentality that lurks in so many of their population, it’s always there just under the surface. Add that to the 11-12 million that can’t be arsed voting in general elections and the Labour Party that always always puts party first and everyone and everything second then they absolutely don’t deserve better.
    BUT, we’re no them and we do deserve better, but if the ejits that voted no the last time, vote no again then, like the English we won’t deserve better either!!!!!

  4. @wyrdtimes

    “Normal service will not be resumed any time soon.”

    I don’t want normal service. Normal service is England politically ignored, starved of funds & run into the ground by the UK parliament.

    At least Paul Nuttall promises to demand an English parliament although sadly it’s most likely to include the same UKers who have proven themselves perfectly happy with England’s underfunding, 3rd rate services, lack of recognition & representation etc. But even a Commons minus S/W/NI MPs is better for England than the current state of affairs.

    It would have been better if Labour had the vision to stand up for England & created an English Labour Party to go along with S/W/NI Labour. With an English manifesto addressing the multitude of English problems and a commitment to a referendum on an English parliament to address the years of damage caused by their anglophobic asymmetric devolution. Sadly all they offer is the reanimated corpse of 1970’s socialism and the blatant lie of “one nation”.

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